Empowering 48% of the Indian population is “what’s on my mind”!
(I remember responding to this “what’s on your mind” on www.facebook.com way back in 2016 – and today in 2019, I stand by each word)
Do you Truly Wish to Empower Women?
(pic credit – www.pixabay.com)
Giving an FB-kind of response to an issue which I have been working on.
Sharing some thoughts on what true empowerment of women to me means….
Making a woman financially empowered – so that she has a say in the family she lives in.
No man/woman is an island – and hence we need each other. This need drives us to live in families – small and extended. BUT the say in each family is directly proportional to who is earning. (YES there are some exceptions – but exceptions do not change reality)
Making a woman emotionally and socially empowered – so that she is able to recognize the patriarchy which she believes in and propagates! YES women themselves propagate the beliefs of a male-oriented thinking which asks for a female to be “second” in all that she does.
Refer to small things each woman does – she feeds the male of the house before feeding herself. She spends money on the male then the kids and then herself on stuff which may be categorized as needs and the frivolous stuff. She teaches her daughters to “be like a girl” and thereby subservient. She tut-tuts when she encounters a boisterous female… she is behaving like a boy!
Since when did like a girl….or like a boy start defining the “truth of existence”.
Finally empowering the male population which is approximately 52% of the Indian population – and teaching them the “reality of the female existence” and helping them associate themselves better with the female population.
Our boys need to be taught how to empathize! Empathy is the ONLY way to humanize all issues which crop up! And is the ONLY way to ensure that the male half of the population not just removes away from a male-oriented thinking – but starts aggressively moving to a gender-neutral thinking!
Let us work towards an India which asks how good or bad you are at work or studies or play or dance – without asking first what is your gender! #WomenEmpowerment#Men#EqualityForWomen#GenderNeutrality
Disclaimer 1 – I have decided to take on this super controversial and yet important issue on my blog ONLY because its high time that we teach our young girls that they aren’t Impure. And young boys that Periods (Menstruation) is normal
Disclaimer 2 – Indian Woman this side and a practicing Hindu.
Notation 1 – I would like to encourage “Talk around Menstruation/Periods with young girls – as something NORMAL”
The CRUX lies in some “age – old customs” – and to destroy these myths, we need to actually understand those very customs.
I shall give a birds eye view of life in older ages where a woman was “asked to take rest” for 3 to 5 days a month to give context:
You didn’t have sanitary pads or tampons so cleanliness was a painful process. So it was easier to be in “one place” and not move around. So the logic here – “Let her not add more cleaning work to her already heavy workload”
Added to the fact that women slaved it out for the whole month… and during their periods they actually got rest. It’s also pertinent to note that families where the temple was in the middle of the house or nearby the new DIL was expected to physically wash the whole temple after bathing, pray and only then consume food. During periods this would have resulted in weakness. So the logic here – is a simple – “Let her rest when she is losing blood”
When families lived near jungles and there were no bathrooms and temple areas lay in the forest the fear of having women attacked by leopards etc – it was widely believed that attacking animals could smell blood. So the logic here – “Let her be safe”
Many Temples were built on hills and mountains and devotees climbing high mountain to reach the deity was also seen as a part of the worship. During periods – some women do feel a little weak (not all women). So the idea propagated was that the woman should not climb a mountain. In fact doctors of today also suggest that women who feel weak during their periods should do “medium to light” exercising – and climbing a mountain is strenuous. So the logic here is – “Let her not over exert herself and fall ill”
Now – none of these logics remotely point to the “impurity of women” during their periods!
Now given these logics – let’s cut into today.
None of the above them exist as major issues!
Also to give some perspective Hinduism as followed by the Vedas – do not put women down as “impure”.
To highlight something very pertinent, raised by Acharya MR Rajesh during the Sabrimala Temple debate – Vedas never portrayed a Menstruating woman as impure. (Kashyapa Veda Rersearch Foundation – Kerela)
Now lets jump onto the basics Science of it:
Menstrual blood is emitted from the female body “naturally”. And a woman in no way can control it. Thus establishing the “natural body function argument.
During the “non-period time” – the female body carries her uterus intact and what is referred to the ovulation period and uterine lining being formed. When there is no pregnancy – this very wall breaks out and comes out at Monthly intervals. So technically the woman carries the fluids et all always. There is not “cycle” its more of a continuous process. She cannot stop it!
I am having a “whew” moment of trying to simplify some age old traditions and challenge some base concepts.
Have also tried to give “words” to the science of it… (simplified it. So the pure science types please ignore and allow for non-science people to absorb the “normalcy bit”)
28th May – 2019 we as a World shall Celebrate “World Menstrual Hygiene Day” – and I hope this piece helps you in challenging some “age old taboos” which have taken the form of “religious taboos”.
In case you want to ping me and discuss – I can be reached out on FB and Twitter and Instagram 🙂
अगर मुझे भूख लगी है और आप मुझे खाने की फोटो दिखाते हैं – और आपको ऐसा प्रतीत होने लगते है की मेरी भूख मर जायेगी – तो ये आपके सपनों की दुनिया है l
मेरी भूख सिर्फ खाने से ही मिटेगी ll
अगर मुझे दर्द होता है और आप मुझे अस्पताल बाहर से घुमा लाते हैं – और आप सोचते हैं की मेरा दर्द ख़तम हो जाएगा – तो ये आपके तो ये आपके सपनों की दुनिया है l
मेरा दर्द सिर्फ इलाज से जाएगा ll
अगर मुझे कमाने की लालसा है – और आप मुझे सही ढंग की स्किलिंग नहीं करवाते हैं और बड़ी बातों से सोचते हैं की मुझे नौकरी दिलाएंगे या उद्यमी बना देंगे – तो ये आपके तो ये आपके सपनों की दुनिया है l
मेरी कमाने की इच्छा तभी पूरी होगी जब – मुझे सही तरह की कौन्सेल्लिंग एवं ट्रेनिंग मिलेगी ll
Wake up from your reverie and dreams – I need solutions.
And NOT cosmetic solutions – ONLY real on the ground workable and sustainable solutions.
Women in India need protection if they want to survive and thrive!
The Constitution of India – gives women equal rights and protection. And yet somehow we have managed to reduce the status of women….
Just who did this? How did it happen?
Women need protection from:
People who think men are superior (which is a very large chunk in India)
People who degrade women mentally – since constitutionally they can’t
Moralistic and Judgemental people who throw big words like culture and sanskar. To them I say – the culture and sanskar of India reveres women! I would recommend a lot of research and reading!
Peoplewho think it’s their duty to “teach women a lesson”. These are by far the most dangerous as they think that it’s their moral duty to show women their true place (by inference a 2nd class citizen)
People who look at women as “objects”. Now this category is rather diverse so I am splitting the answer into 2 parts. Part 1: people who believe that the female is the property of her father/brother to be transferred to husband and later transferred to son. These people do NOT stop to consider that legally for transfer of property you need documents verified and registered. And that people (man or woman) cannot be ‘transferred’ as ownership over people isn’t legal!! Part 2 : object of desire as inspired by Bollywood. And we off course add Part 1 here since no Object of Desire has the right to have a mind… Right?
People who are too busy telling all women that they are the weaker sex/gender. Well folks if the girl goes to a gym to lose weight and a boy goes their to lose muscle – there shall be a defined difference in their body type. Also there is like this whole world within our world which believes that girls need not be given the same food and nutrition as boys – so… What does that do to the girl’s health? And finally the girl is taught the sanskar of being “demure” – I sure wonder why we don’t teach all girls to be like Durga
Women who hate other women and try to bring them down. MIL and DIL relationship, sisters in law etc are the most common examples. But then there are some caustic mother and daughter relationships too. Further women in society are so very quick to judge other women…
Just pause… Just think…
Musings of a Monday Morning – fresh off my table.
Silently I thank the Constitution of India and true Indian Culture which protect the rights of women!